F+ Beer

Adventures in Homebrewing and All Things Hoppy

Miso Bitter

In an effort to improve and learn, I decided to brew the same beer recipe (essentially) a second time.  This may surprise those who know me because I rarely drink the same beer over and over (though I do have my favorites).

There is actually no miso in this beer (it was named after a kitty).  I assure you, however, that every F+ beer is made with a healthy dose of genuine bitterness.

What I did differently:

1) Added Irish Moss as a clarifying agent.

2) Didn’t dump by flavoring grains straight into the sonofabitching water until it boiled over.

3) More carefully watched pitching temperature.  (I think it was a bit on the cool side last time.)

4) Made the brewing supply store replace my oversized autosiphon hose with the proper size, thereby eliminating the Auotsiphon Air Injection™ feature.

What I did the same: Broke the f**king hydrometer.

Miso Bitter

Type: American Style ESB

Brew Date: 1-14-12

Base Malt (Extract): 8 lbs. light malt extract

Steeping Grains: 8 oz. Victory Malt and 8 oz. English Crystal Malt

Yeast: White Labs California V Ale Yeast, 1 vial

Hops: 2 oz. Cascade (C) at 9.3 alpha and 2 oz. Willamette (W) at 5.6 alpha

Hop Schedule:

  • 1.5 W for all 60 min
  • 1 C for 2o min
  • 0.5 C for 15 min
  • 0.5 W for 10 min
  • 0.5 C for 5 min

Additional Additives: 3/4 tsp. Irish Moss for last 45 min of boil

Gravity Schedule:

  • 1.049 at pitch 1:30 pm 1-14-12
  • 1.014 at primary-to-secondary racking, 1-25-12
  • (unknown at bottling[broken hydrometer], on 2-5-12 — assume 1.012)

Estimated ABV: 4.85%

Bottling Notes: 3/4 cup corn sugar.  No air/siphon problems like last time.


  • Hydrometer reading looked pretty low right away – somewhere just above 1.010.  Then 1.010.  Then 1.oo9…8…7…huh.  1.005…4…2…1.  WTF?  1.000.  OK this is almost impossible physically.  0.99…  c’mon, I didn’t distill this liquid!  I examined the hydrometer in the Thief, and sure enough, it was slowly taking on beer through a crack.

Other Notes:

  • Because of some clearly defined issues with this batch (one major one which was NOT my fault), I decided my second batch would be the same recipe (essentially), primarily because I want to learn from my mistakes and better understand how to detect and prevent off-flavors.  This beer is much, much better, due in large part to the proper racking hose (no air injection and thus minimal oxidized [cardboardy] flavor).
  • I like it.  It turned out decently.  Will follow up later.
  • I’m unsure of the clarity impact of the Irish Moss.  It still gets a chill haze if fridge-cold, but this disappears at serving temperature.  My previous beer, if I recall correctly, has a pretty similar behavior.

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